Wednesday, May 8, 2013

the gift of food

It never ceases to amaze me how generous most people are that live in this little valley. Over the time we have lived here we have been kindly gifted many eggs, bags of zucchinis, pickles, apples, pomegranates and numerous other vegies. Even a full load of compost. Interestingly, we don't live in a food growing region. The weather conditions are harsh, the soil eroded, and the whole region is in a rain shadow. Any local will tell you growing food here is not easy, to say the least. But not impossible.

So I try to find out as much as I can from these greenthumbs of the community. I think slowly we are getting there. We now know what is best to plant in Winter and when. That shade is very important in summer. We also know that we do need a green house and perhaps a poly tunnel to compensate for the short summer season.

ratatouille cooked from a neighbour's vegies

There is a lot to be said for the smaller communities, though living apart as they do in rural settings, there is a greater familiarity with neighbours than I ever did find in the suburbs. Perhaps a comfortable distance naturally brings people together.  I have seen this from various community gatherings, music bands, Sunday coffee drop-ins to the testing times of our recent fires. It is a reassuring to know that we live within a community of capable, down-to-earth type of people. Where old fashioned skills are not uncommon.

Sharing of food has it's way of bringing communities just that little bit closer. And isn't it wonderful to not have to put those items in the trolley?   If communities can grow what they can and informally barter then that has to be a very good thing.  For our health, the planet and our pockets.                                   

So meanwhile we make plans for chickens, new garden plots and a greenhouse. It has taken us some time to get to this stage, and while delays can be frustrating, I think we will eventually get there. Until then we are so very appreciative of the the occasional gifts of excess eggs or vegies that may happen to come our way.


  1. It sounds like a lovely sense of community you have where you live I think it's wonderful that others can be so generous and kind, it must feel comforting to know you live in such a nice area. Living in the city this doesn't happen often people are so busy and the backyard vegie patch isn't present in my area much though I do try and share if I have a glut of eggs and my neighbour has shared plants with us too. My Mum though lives in the country so we are lucky when we see her to get the odd bit of produce they have glut of or their neighbours. Enjoy your yummy produce.

  2. That does sound lovely! Do you have your own chooks? I'm sure you would/could have a great set-up!

  3. It sounds as though you live in a very generous community! Sounds similar to the wonderful place we live in. Enjoy those vegies! xx

  4. Knowing the time and dedication that has gone into growing the produce which is then gifted makes it so special.

  5. 'a comfortable distance naturally brings people together.'
    That is brilliant! You have basically explained my psyche in one sentence :)
    We currently live in a city. My parents are in country and much closer to their neighbors. They benefit from eggs and veggies, too, as well as share their veggies. I don't even know the names of the people who are next door (and have been for 10 years!)

  6. This is such a lovely post. We also live in a 'sharing community'; swapping food, tools (and occasionally kids!). Sharing excess is one of the principles of permaculture.

  7. It's so lovely to give the gift of food too, and when you have a lot, and you've worked hard to grow it, there's nothing better than seeing it well loved.


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